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A lowboy

A lowboy is an American collectors term for one type of dressing table, vanity, or duchess (Australian English).[1] It is a small table with one or two rows of drawers, so called in contradistinction to the tallboy or highboy chest of drawers.[2][3]

History and description[edit]

A different type of dressing table.

Lowboy and tallboy were favorite pieces of the 18th century, both in England and in the United States; the lowboy was most frequently used as a dressing-table, but sometimes as a side-table. It is usually made of oak, walnut or mahogany, with the drawer-fronts mounted with brass pulls and escutcheons. The more elegant examples in the Queen Anne, early Georgian, and Chippendale styles often have cabriole legs, carved knees, and slipper or claw-and-ball feet. The fronts of some examples also are sculpted with the scallop-shell motif beneath the center drawer.[3]

Another term for a dressing table equipped with mirrors is vanity and is used to apply makeup and other fashion accessories.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lowboy is a "collectors term for a dressing table made in 18th century America often with a matching highboy (Campbell 2006, pp. 61, 479)".
  2. ^ Loomis IV 2011, p. 59.
  3. ^ a b Chisholm 1911, p. 17.
  4. ^ Campbell 2006, pp. 331.


  • Campbell, Gordon (2006). The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts: (Two-volume Set). Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 61, 331, 479. ISBN 9780195189483.
  • Loomis IV, Frank Farmer (2011). Antiques 101: A Crash Course in Everything Antique (2 ed.). Krause Publications. p. 59. ISBN 9781440227387.

External links[edit]